Are you all in or all out?


Are you in or are you out? Will you do it fully or not do it at all? Is Jesus your Lord of all or not at all? Is it truth or a lie? Half truth means a lie. Not all in means you are out. Will you wholeheartedly follow God? Will you receive God with faith and be considered a friend of God like Abraham? Will your works demonstrate your faith in God? Will you live out today in a way that will be as a living sacrifice to God? Are you all in or all out? We all have freewill and we all get to choose for ourselves. Nobody else can choose for us. It’s a personal decision that we all get to make that will impact our lives for eternity. Will you live and be salt and light to the world around you? Will you point people back to Jesus so that they too can know the love of God and the power of salvation? Are you all in or all out?


Today’s reading comes to use from:

Are you living an example that is making a difference?


Are you reaching out to those around you? Are you extending your hand to the people around you? Are you welcoming those around you? Are you embracing those around you? Are you loving the people around you? Are you being light to brighten things up for the people around you? Are you being salt in the world around you? What example are you setting to the people who are watching or seeing you?

Whether you know it or not, people are watching you! People at home (your family)! People at work! People on the streets! People are watching you to see who you are! Are your words aligning to your actions? What fruit are you bearing that others may see by observing you? Who are people learning you are when they watch and see the fruit you are producing?

There are people who are looking for mentors! There are people who looking for role models! There are people who are seeking good examples! Your children are watching you to see who you are and if it aligns to who you think you should be! Are you being good parents? Are you being a good sibling? Are you being good children? What are your actions saying about who you are? What example are you giving?

Are you sharing your learnings with others? Are you helping others to avoid the pitfalls of your life by sharing your experiences? Are you looking to others to give you wisdom and advice rather than having to walk thru, trip thru, tangled in, doing it all on your own? Do you have a mentor? Do you have a mentee? Why not learn from others? Why not train up the next generation in the way they should go so that they won’t have to deal with the pain and suffering you did?

How do you find someone? What type of an example do you look for them to be in order to know if they would be a good fit? How do you know their character?

Do you realize the impact of your example being set on influencing others?

Ever heard that you need to “walk the walk”? Ever heard that “talk is cheap”? Ever heard that “you need to practice what you preach”? Ever realize how much of communication is visual? Similarly, visual is the biggest part of why we need to be a good example in this world we live in! Ever watched people who don’t speak the same language try to connect? They tend to do a lot of pointing to try and get their point across through physical things. An example would be someone trying to ask for something. They try to start with words but one says “pomme” to which the other person says “what?” then they try to describe it with hand gestures and eventually they may be able to find the object or a picture of the object at which point the person may respond “oh, an apple”. Within a single language we can read a lot into what someone is saying through their body language (uncomfortable, shy, fear, etc.) and their tone (excited, sad, sarcasm, etc.). So we can tell a lot about others by their actions! So let’s share the Good News with the people around us and then lets live it out that others may see the good work and praise our Father in heaven!

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. –from Matthew 5:16

So are you setting a good example? Are you producing good fruit? Are your actions saying what you try to portray in words?

John Maxwell has been quoted saying “Eighty-nine per cent of what people learn comes through visual stimulation; ten per cent through audible stimulation and one per cent through other senses… What they hear they understand. What they see they believe!

Are you trying to persuade through words? Are you trying to convince through words?

So whose example are you following? What example are you setting for those around you?

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. –from 1 Peter 2:21

So when people are watching you, what example are you setting?


Your Example

Day 328: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Walk in wisdom … Proverbs 28:18-28
  2. Win over, with or without words … 1 Peter 3
  3. Worship in the way of the Lord … Ezekiel 45, Ezekiel 46

What’s your calling?


Have you been called to do something? How did you respond? Did you accept it? Did you reject it? Did you fight it? Did you argue it?

What’s you calling? How will you respond?

I know in my life so far God has called me to many things. Some I received open armed like being a husband and a father! Some I fought and argued against because I didn’t think I was qualified enough! I remember being a crossroads where someone was offering me 2 opportunities and asked me what I thought. I started telling the story (linked to above) which then lead me to the right decision God had for me. I remember the entire time saying to myself “Why am I telling this story? God I pray you will let me in on it too!”

So what is it God has called you to today that you are living out?

What decision are you needing to make? How will you answer the call? How long will it take for you to answer it? Do you realize the importance of accepting it? Do you realize the impact it will have not only on your life and story but on the lives God will bring across your path? It may not be easy, but it will be worth it! He will be with you in it and thru it when He has called you to it! Be it with hiring! Be it with making financial decisions! Be it with people conflicts! God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine! So put your trust in Him and step out in faith believing that He who has started a good work in you will continue to perfect till the day of Christ Jesus’ return!

We can’t allow fear to hold us back from our calling! I know in my story of not thinking I was qualified enough that the enemy was trying to keep me from being able to accomplish everything God needed and desired for me to have my faith built up in and thru. The devil will try to bring up fear and doubt to keep us from answering the call! The devil will give us reasons to worry what will or would or could happen if we stepped in or stepped up! But we need to take hold of God’s promises! We need to grab hold of His Word “Fear Not, Just Believe!” Let’s remember when they were walking into the promised land how Moses called them to “Be bold and courageous”. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, courage is judgment that something else is more important than fear! Its pressing forward despite fear! It’s moving from who you think you are and who you think you can be!

Today’s reading when Ezekiel is being called, we see that God knows that fear is going to show up when He says:

6And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.

–from Ezekiel 2

Do you ever realize how sometimes it is easier to convince a complete stranger than to convince someone you know well? Ever find that people you don’t know can receive information better than people who would seem to have fewer boundaries? Family? Old friends? etc?

Today’s reading we see how God warns Ezekiel of such challenges…

4He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. 5You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— 6not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. 8But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”

–from Ezekiel 3

But whether they will hear and listen or not, we are to be watchmen and tell them what we are seeing, what is coming, what is about to be and they can choose how they will listen and respond. Ezekiel was called to be a watchman!

Ezekielʼs Task as Watchman

16At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 17“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20“Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
22The hand of the Lord was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” 23So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown.
24Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. 26I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious people. 27But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.

–from Ezekiel 3

Some will hear what you have to say and listen but others will refuse it! Take a look around and see what is going on! Do some seem hard hearted? Do some seem rebellious? Do some seem to be more interested in stirring up division that fostering unifying behaviors and unity?

How can you tell the story? How can you try to get the message across? How can you speak the truth in a way that some will hear it and receive it? Some learn by hearing! Some learn by seeing! Some learn by doing! Let’s take a look at what Ezekiel tried…

Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized

1“Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. 3Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel.
4“Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. 5I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.
6“After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. 7Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her. 8I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.
9“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side. 10Weigh out twenty shekels of food to eat each day and eat it at set times. 11Also measure out a sixth of a hin of water and drink it at set times. 12Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.” 13The Lord said, “In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.”
14Then I said, “Not so, Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth.”
15“Very well,” he said, “I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement.”
16He then said to me: “Son of man, I am about to cut off the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair, 17for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of their sin.

–Ezekiel 4

How do you think they would respond? Do you think people would get the memo? What do you think it would or will take to share the message God has for you with others and to have them not only hear it but receive it? Do you see what is going on around you?

Don’t you desire that everyone make it to be in heaven? Do you desire that you get to spend eternity with everyone so you can praise God together? Will you align your heart to God’s heart who doesn’t want anyone to perish but that everyone would have everlasting life! God’s not slow in keeping His promises! He is patient with us! He doesn’t want anyone to perish but that everyone would come to repentance, turning their lives back to Him! We all have free will though! We all have to make the choice for ourselves! And even with our best attempts there are some that will still not turn back to God! Even when God has blessed the nation so much, there are many who reject Him! Walk to talk about irony, there are missionaries from around the world where former missionaries had visited and raised up a people who are now going back to the countries where those missionaries had come from to preach the Good News there. There is no place on earth that doesn’t need to have the Good News preached and shared! Try different ways to share it! Say it! Show it! Do it!

Let’s review what God says to Ezekiel…

Godʼs Razor of Judgment

1“Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barberʼs razor to shave your head and your beard. Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair. 2When the days of your siege come to an end, burn a third of the hair inside the city. Take a third and strike it with the sword all around the city. And scatter a third to the wind. For I will pursue them with drawn sword. 3But take a few hairs and tuck them away in the folds of your garment. 4Again, take a few of these and throw them into the fire and burn them up. A fire will spread from there to all Israel.
5“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. 6Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees.
7“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have been more unruly than the nations around you and have not followed my decrees or kept my laws. You have not evenconformed to the standards of the nations around you.
8“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations. 9Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again. 10Therefore in your midst parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds. 11Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your vile images and detestable practices, I myself will shave you; I will not look on you with pity or spare you. 12A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword.
13“Then my anger will cease and my wrath against them will subside, and I will be avenged. And when I have spent my wrath on them, they will know that I the Lord have spoken in my zeal.
14“I will make you a ruin and a reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke. I the Lord have spoken. 16When I shoot at you with my deadly and destructive arrows of famine, I will shoot to destroy you. I will bring more and more famine upon you and cut off your supply of food. 17I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I the Lord have spoken.”

–Ezekiel 5

Consider how you would, will, are or have respond/responded to the results of an election. Was it in alignment to God’s plans? Do you realize that there is no authority except that which is given by God? Do you realize that there were put there for a purpose? (When I was positioned to be President of the homeowners association, God had a plan and I didn’t fully grasp it till that time was completed!) So how will you respond? Will you revolt? Will you stand your ground? Will you be paid to go and create trouble? Will you stand up for what you believe in? (Like Daniel and his friends) Will you do what is right? Will you do what is just? Will you do what is good? Consider where you are at! Consider what has happened! Consider how you will respond! Consider how you should respond! Consider how God desires for you to respond!

If we take a look at today’s reading, we can learn that government was set in place for our good. Let’s review it together now…

Submission to Governing Authorities

1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is Godʼs servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are Godʼs servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are Godʼs servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

–from Romans 13

So why not live out our lives in love! So why not live out our lives in righteousness! Love is the answer to succeeding in life! Love is the way to a successful life! Love is …

Love Fulfills the Law

8Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

–from Romans 13

So let’s not lose time! Let’s not waste our time and efforts on things that won’t help! Let’s not waste our time and effort on things that won’t produce good fruit! We want to draw people closer to God since each day we are getting closer to Jesus’ return! So let’s live as light into the dark world around us! Let’s shine the light of Jesus reflecting from us into the world around us!

The Day Is Near

11And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

–from Romans 13

So no matter what has or is taking place, how will you choose to live? Today’s reading concludes with that message also given to the Colossians…

Living as Those Made Alive in Christ

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12Therefore, as Godʼs chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Instructions for Christian Households

18Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

–Colossians 3

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 2, 3, 4, 5, Romans 13, Colossians 3

Have you invited God into your heart?


Have you made the most important decision of your life yet? Have you decided to follow Him all the days of your life? Have demonstrated to others publicly through baptism? Have you ask Jesus into your heart?

Do you realize the impact of the decision? Do you realize what happens? Do you realize what your body becomes? 1 Corinthians 6 tells us:

19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? 20 You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.

So how are you living? Are others able to see the transformed you? Are you shining the light of Jesus to the world around you? Are you spicing up the world around you by being salt? Are you living to make a difference not just on Sundays but everyday in the situations God has positioned and placed you into? Will you take care of God’s temple – the temple of the Holy Spirit so that the price paid by Jesus when He gave it all on the cross will be praised and glorified and exalted high?

If not now then when? If not here then where? If not you then who? If not you then what?

Today’s reading speaks of the old temple, the one built by Solomon…

Adonai Has Chosen Jerusalem

1Then Solomon declared, “Adonai has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud; 2I have built You a magnificent House and a place for You to dwell forever.” 3Then, while all the congregation of Israel was standing the king turned his face and blessed the whole congregation of Israel. 4He said: “Blessed be Adonai, the God of Israel, who with His hands has fulfilled what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying: 5‘Since the day that I brought My people out of the land of Egypt, I did not choose a city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a House that My Name might be there. Nor did I choose any man to be a leader over My people Israel. 6But I have chosen Jerusalem that My Name would abide there and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’ 7“Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a House for the Name of Adonai, the God of Israel. 8But Adonai said to David my father: ‘As for you wanting in your heart to build a House for My Name, you did well that this was in your heart. 9Nevertheless, you will not build the House. Rather your son who will be born to you, he will build the House for My Name.’ 10“Now Adonai has confirmed His promise that He spoke. I have succeeded my father David and sit on the throne of Israel, just as Adonai promised, and I have built the House for the Name of Adonai, the God of Israel. 11There have I set the Ark in which is the Covenant of Adonai that He made with Bnei-Yisrael.”

Solomon’s Prayer

12Then he stood before the altar of Adonai in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread forth his hands. 13For Solomon had made a bronze platform, five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits high and placed it in the midst of the court. He stood on it and knelt down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven 14and he said, “Adonai, God of Israel, there is no God like You in the heavens or in the earth, keeping covenant and showing mercy to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart. 15You have kept the promise You made to Your servant David, my father. Surely you spoke with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand—as it is today. 16“Now therefore, Adonai, God of Israel, keep for Your servant David, my father, that which You have promised him saying: ‘For you will never be cut off, you will not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne—if only your sons pay attention to their way, to walk in My Torah as you have walked before Me.’ 17“Now therefore, Adonai God of Israel, let Your word, which You spoke to Your servant David, be confirmed. 18“But will God indeed dwell with mankind on the earth? Behold—heaven even the highest heaven—cannot contain You. How much less this House that I have built! 19Yet attend to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, Adonai my God, to hear the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You 20that Your eyes may be open toward this House day and night, toward the place where You have said You would put Your Name there, to listen to the prayer which Your servant will pray toward this place. 21Hear the supplications of Your servant and Your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from Your dwelling place, from heaven, and when You hear, forgive. 22“If a man sins against his neighbor and is required to swear an oath, and he comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this House, 23then hear from heaven and act. Judge Your servants, repaying the wicked by bringing down on his own head what he has done and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness. 24“If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, yet when they return and confess Your Name, praying and making supplication before You in this House, 25then hear from heaven, forgive the sin of Your people Israel and bring them back to the land which You gave to them and to their fathers. 26“When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, if they pray toward this place and confess Your Name, turning from their sin because You afflicted them, 27then may You hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel. Indeed may You teach them the good way in which they should walk. Send rain upon Your land that You have given to Your people for an inheritance. 28“When there is famine in the land, when there is pestilence, blight, mildew, locust or grasshopper, when their enemies besiege them in the land by their gates, whatever plague or sickness may come, 29and any prayer or plea is offered by any individual or by all Your people Israel—each acknowledging his own afflictions and pain, even spreading his hands toward this House— 30then may You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place and forgive. May You give to every man according to all his ways, as You know his heart—for You alone know the hearts of the children of men— 31so that they will fear You and walk in Your ways all the days that they live in the land that You gave to our fathers. 32“Moreover, concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel but comes from a distant land for the sake of Your great Name and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this House, 33then may You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place and do whatever the foreigner asks of You. Then all the peoples of the earth will acknowledge Your Name and revere You, as Your people Israel do, and they will know that this House which I have built is called by Your Name. 34“When Your people go out to battle against their enemies, wherever You send them, and they pray to You toward this city that You have chosen and the House that I have built for Your Name, 35then hear from heaven their prayer and their petition, and uphold their cause. 36When they sin against You—for there is no man that does not sin —and You become angry with them and hand them over to the enemy who takes them captive to a land far off or near, 37when they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and they repent and seek You in the land of their captivity saying, ‘We have sinned, we have committed inquity, we have acted wickedly,’ 38“and they return to You with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken captive, and they pray toward their land which You gave to their fathers and the city which You have chosen and toward the House which I have built for Your Name, 39then may You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place, their prayer and their petitions and uphold their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You. 40“Now my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open, and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place. 41Now arise, Adonai Elohim, to Your resting place, You and the Ark of Your might. May Your kohanim, Adonai Elohim, be clothed with salvation, and may Your godly ones rejoice in goodness. 42Adonai Elohim, do not reject Your anointed one. Remember the loyalty of Your servant David.”

–from 2 Chronicles 6 (TLV)

So let’s live lives that turned towards God! Let’s live lives that are in alignment to God’s will loving God and loving people!

Have you walked away? Have you strayed? Turn back to Him! Never made a decision to follow after Jesus? Ask Him to forgive you and watch Him receive you and restore you through a process that will encourage and strengthen you. Consider the prayer of Solomon above and consider asking Jesus to move into your heart and help get it cleaned up and put a new heart in you! God can do all things! Nothing is too big for God! So let’s turn back to Him and give it up into His hands!

You can never be too far to be able to turn back to God! So turn back before it is too late because the key is a decision and it’s a decision only you can make! We are given the gift of freewill so we get a free choice to choose if we will receive and accept God’s gift or if we won’t. I pray that today you will choose to receive it and start the new life journey of walking out the rest of your life walking with Jesus through the lows, up the mountains, and on the mountain tops!

God is faithful and true! There is no darkness in Him! He is good to His Word so we can trust Him! So we can turn back to Him if we slip up or stray! We can humble ourselves and ask Him for forgiveness and He will!  If we will humble ourselves, turn from our evil ways, turn to Him and pray for forgiveness, then He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land!

They sacrificed a lot! They sacrificed regularly with burned offerings! Jesus paid it all once for all! So let’s be living sacrifices! So our part is that when we find ourselves far from God that we will humble ourselves, turn from our evil ways and back to Him, and pray for forgiveness! We need to be able to do this not only individually but also corporately – at work! as a country! as a neighborhood! as a city! as a state! as a province! And then God who is faithful and just will hear our prayers, forgive our sins, and heal our land! And don’t we need some healing right now?

Consider God’s response to Solomon’s prayer that speaks to God’s great love…

Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret

1Now when Solomon finished praying the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of Adonai filled the House. 2The kohanim could not even enter into the House of Adonai because the glory of Adonai filled the House of Adonai. 3When all Bnei-Yisrael saw the fire come down and the glory of Adonai above the House, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, prostrating themselves and praising Adonai, “For He is good and His mercy endures forever.” 4Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before Adonai. 5King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the House of God. 6The kohanim stood at their posts, as did the Levites with the musical instruments of Adonai that King David had made for praising Adonai—“for His mercy endures forever”—whenever David offered praise by their hand. Opposite them were the kohanim who sounded trumpets while all Israel was standing. 7Moreover, Solomon consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was before the House of Adonai, because there he offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings, since the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to contain the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat. 8At that time, Solomon observed the feast for seven days and all Israel with him—a very great assembly from Lebo-hamath to the Brook of Egypt. 9On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the feast for seven days. 10On the 23rd day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that Adonai had done for David, Solomon and Israel His people.

Adonai’s Promise to Solomon

11Thus Solomon finished the House of Adonai and the king’s palace. Indeed, all that Solomon had on his heart to accomplish in the House of Adonai and in his own palace, he successfully completed. 12Then Adonai appeared to Solomon at night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself for a House of sacrifice. 13If I shut up heaven that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14when My people, 0ver whom My Name is called, humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16For now I have chosen and consecrated this House so that My Name may be there forever. My eyes and My heart shall be there perpetually. 17“As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, doing all that I have commanded you, keeping My statutes and My ordinances, 18then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’ 19But if you turn away and forsake My decrees and My mitzvot that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20then I will uproot them from My land which I gave them, and this House which I have consecrated for My Name I will cast out of My sight. I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21As for this House, which is so exalted, every one passing by it shall be appalled and say, ‘Why has Adonai done this to this land and to this House?’ 22And they will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken Adonai, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and clung to other gods, worshipping and serving them. Therefore He has brought all this misery upon them’”

–from Chronicles 7 (TLV)

So let’s give it up to God! If He isn’t in it, then we are working in vain! If He isn’t over it, then we are watching in vain! We need to be with Him! We need to align with Him! We need to make the choice that will transform the future! We need to ask Jesus into our heart and we need to walk out our lives with Him as our closest friend! The Holy Spirit will lead us and guide! The Holy Spirit will encourage us and comfort us! So let’s step up and stand out that others may see our works and praise our Father in heaven! Let’s leave a legacy that our children can be proud of! Let’s provide them a legacy that they can follow after!

He Gives Sleep to His Children

1A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Unless Adonai builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless Adonai watches over the city, the watchman stands guard in vain. 2In vain you rise up early and stay up late, eating the bread of toil— for He provides for His beloved ones even in their sleep. 3Behold, children are a heritage of Adonai —the fruit of the womb is a reward. 4As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of one’s youth. 5Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they speak with their enemies at the gate.

–from Psalms 127 (TLV)

Things won’t be perfect because we live in a fallen world, however, God will help us through it! Just as Jesus was troubled and persecuted, in this world we will have troubles, but Jesus told us to take heart because He has overcome the world! Jesus also told us we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds for they are doing a work in us in James 1…

2   My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, 3for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. 4Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

So as we close in Hebrews, let’s reflect on God and make sure we are ready, we are prepared to do the good work God has prepared in advance for us to do!

Perfect Pardon in the New Covenant

1The Torah has a shadow of the good things to come—not the form itself of the realities. For this reason it can never, by means of the same sacrifices they offer constantly year after year, make perfect those who draw near. 2Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers—cleansed once and for all—would no longer have consciousness of sins? 3But in these sacrifices is a reminder of sins year after year— 4for it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5So when Messiah comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me. 6In whole burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not delight. 7Then I said, ‘Behold, I come to do Your will, O God (in the scroll of the book it is written of Me).’” 8After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not desire, nor did You delight in them” (those which are offered according to Torah), 9then He said, “Behold, I come to do Your will.” He takes away the first to establish the second. 10By His will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Messiah Yeshua once for all. 11Indeed, every kohen stands day by day serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12But on the other hand, when this One offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God— 13waiting from then on, until His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. 14For by one offering He has perfected forever those being made holy. 15The Ruach ha-Kodesh also testifies to us—for after saying, 16“This is the covenant that I will cut with them: ‘After those days,’ says Adonai, ‘I will put My Torah upon their hearts, and upon their minds I will write it,’” then He says, 17“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18Now where there is removal of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Let Us Pray Boldly in God’s Presence

19Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have boldness to enter into the Holies by the blood of Yeshua. 20He inaugurated a new and living way for us through the curtain—that is, His flesh. 21We also have a Kohen Gadol over God’s household. 22So let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and body washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the unwavering confession of hope, for He who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good deeds. 25And do not neglect our own meetings, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another—and all the more so as you see the Day approaching. 26For if we keep on sinning willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but only a terrifying expectation of judgment and a fury of fire about to devour the enemies of God. 28Anyone who rejected the Torah of Moses dies without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses. 29How much more severe do you think the punishment will be for the one who has trampled Ben-Elohim underfoot, and has regarded as unholy the blood of the covenant by which he was made holy, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know the One who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” and again, “Adonai will judge His people.” 31It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Suffering Perfects Yeshua’s Followers

32But remember the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a great struggle with sufferings. 33Sometimes you were publicly exposed to abuses and afflictions, and other times you became partners with those who were treated this way. 34For you suffered along with the prisoners and joyfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you have for yourselves a better and lasting possession. 35Therefore, do not lose your boldness, which has great reward. 36For you need perseverance so that, after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. 37For yet “in a very little while, the Coming One will come, and He will not delay. 38But My righteous one shall live by emunah; and if he shrinks back, My soul takes no pleasure in him.” 39But we are not among the timid ones on the path to destruction, but among the faithful ones on the path to the preservation of the soul.

–from Hebrews 10 (TLV)

 

 

 

 

Don’t give up! God hears your prayers!


He knows your name! He knows your every thought! He sees each tear that falls! He hears you when you call! It may be hard! It may seem impossible! But nothing is impossible with God! So don’t lose hope and don’t give up! Give it up to God for He hears your prayers and He knows your heart!

What are you in need of? What is the desire of your heart? What is your priority?

Today’s readings takes a look at someone who was in need and gave that need up to God…

A Barren Woman’s Petition is Granted

1Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim—his name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives: the name of the one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. 3Now this man used to go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to Adonai-Tzva’ot in Shiloh. (The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were kohanim of Adonai there.) 4Then on the designated day Elkanah would sacrifice and give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters, 5but to Hannah he would give only one portion—even though he loved Hannah—for Adonai had closed her womb. 6Her rival would taunt her bitterly to provoke her, because Adonai had closed her womb. 7So it was year after year, whenever she went up to the House of Adonai, that she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. 8Then her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why won’t you eat? Why is your heart so sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 9After eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah got up. Now Eli the kohen was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of the Temple of Adonai. 10While her soul was bitter, she prayed to Adonai and wept. 11So she made a vow and said, “Adonai-Tzva’ot, if You will indeed look upon the affliction of Your handmaid, remember me and not forget Your handmaid, but grant Your handmaid a son, then I will give him to Adonai all the days of his life and no razor will ever touch his head.” 12It came to pass, as she prayed long before Adonai, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13Now Hannah was praying in her heart—only her lips were moving, but her voice could not be heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14Then Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Get rid of your wine!” 15But in response Hannah said, “No, my lord, I am a woman with an oppressed spirit! I haven’t been drinking wine or beer. Instead I’ve been pouring out my soul before Adonai. 16Don’t consider your handmaid a wicked woman. For out of my great anguish and grief I’ve been praying until now.” 17Then Eli responded, “Go in shalom, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you asked of Him.” 18“May your maidservant find favor in your eyes,” she said. So the woman went her way; she ate, and her countenance was no longer dejected. 19They rose up early in the morning and worshipped before Adonai, then went back to their home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and Adonai remembered her. 20So it came to pass at the turn of the year that Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She called his name Samuel, “because I have asked Adonai for him.” 21When the man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer the annual sacrifice to Adonai and to fulfill his vow offering, 22Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “When the child is weaned, I will bring him, so he may appear before Adonai and stay there forever.” 23So her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Stay until you have weaned him—only may Adonai establish His word.” So the woman stayed home and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, one ephah of flour and a jar of wine, and brought him to the House of Adonai in Shiloh, while the child was still young. 25After they slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. 26“It’s me, my lord!” she said. “As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman that stood by you here, praying to Adonai. 27For this boy I prayed, and Adonai has granted me my petition that I asked of Him. 28So I in turn dedicate him to Adonai—as long as he lives he is dedicated to Adonai.” Then he bowed in worship there before Adonai.

–from 1 Samuel 1

Live in joy! Live in peace! Live believing and trusting in God! Praise Him and worship Him for what He is doing, has done and is going to do in and through your life! Walk in His ways! Allow Him to guide your every step! All things are possible for those who believe! Put your trust in God! Do you hear that still quiet voice? Are you obedient to the Spirit’s call? You don’t want to hear the loud booming voice, so allow God to be with you and guide your every step, your every thought, your every word and your every action!

Hannah’s Prayer of Exultation

1Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in Adonai, my horn is lifted high in Adonai. I smile wide over my enemies, for I rejoice in Your salvation. 2There is none holy as Adonai, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. 3Boast no more so proudly— insolence comes out of your mouth. For Adonai is the all-knowing God, and by Him deeds are weighed. 4The bows of the mighty are broken, but the stumbling are girded with strength. 5Those full hire themselves for bread, but those starving hunger no more. Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she with many sons languishes. 6Adonai causes death and makes alive, He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7Adonai makes poor and makes rich, He brings low and also lifts up. 8He raises the helpless from the dust. He lifts the needy from the dunghill, to make them sit with nobles, granting them a seat of honor. For the earth’s pillars are Adonai’s, and He has set the world on them. 9He guards the steps of His godly ones, but the wicked are silenced in darkness. For one does not prevail by might. 10Those who oppose Adonai will be shattered. He thunders against them in heaven. He judges the ends of the earth. He gives strength to His king, exalting the horn of His anointed one.”

Eli’s Sons Sin Against Adonai

11Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, while the boy served Adonai before Eli the kohen. 12Now Eli’s sons were worthless men; they did not acknowledge Adonai. 13Now this was the custom of the kohanim with the people: whenever any man offered a sacrifice, the kohen’s servant would come along, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up, the kohen would take for himself. This is how they dealt with all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh. 15Even before they burned the fat, the kohen’s servant would come and say to the one offering sacrifice, “Give the kohen meat for roasting, since he will not accept boiled meat from you—only raw.” 16If the man said to him, “Let them first burn the fat up as smoke, and then take as much as you desire,” he would reply, “No! But you must give it now—otherwise, I will take it by force.” 17Thus the sin of the young men was very great before Adonai, for the men despised the offering of Adonai. 18But Samuel was ministering before Adonai, as a boy girded with a linen ephod. 19Moreover, his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May Adonai give you offspring from this woman instead of the one she requested from Adonai.” Then they would return to their place. 21So Adonai visited Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the child Samuel grew before Adonai. 22Now Eli had grown very old. He heard all that his sons did to all Israel, and how they slept with the women who served at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. 23So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear evil reports from all these people concerning you. 24No, my sons! For this is not a good report that I hear Adonai’s people spreading around. 25If a man sins against another, God may pardon him; but if a man sins against Adonai, who will intercede for him?” But they did not listen to the voice of their father, because Adonai desired to put them to death. 26Meanwhile, the child Samuel kept growing and increasing in favor both with Adonai and also with men. 27Now there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says Adonai: Did I not reveal Myself clearly to the house of your father when they were in Egypt belonging to Pharaoh’s palace? 28Also did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My kohanim, to officiate at My altar, to burn incense and to wear an ephod before Me? Did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of Bnei-Yisrael? 29Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by fattening yourselves with the choicest of every offering of Israel My people? 30Therefore Adonai God of Israel declares, I indeed said that your house and your father’s house should walk before Me forever. But now declares Adonai, far be it from Me! For I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disdained. 31Behold, the days are coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that no one in your household will reach old age. 32Moreover, you will behold the distress of My dwelling, despite all that is good that has been done to Israel. So no one in your household will reach old age, forever. 33Any man of yours that I did not cut off from My altar would make your eyes weep and your soul grieve. So all the increase of your household will die as young men. 34Now this will be the sign to you that will come on your two sons—Hophni and Phinehas—on the same day both of them will die. 35“Yet I will raise up for Myself a faithful kohen who will do according to what is in My heart and My mind. Then I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed one all the time. 36Anyone left in your household will come and bow low to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and will say: ‘Please, assign me to one of the priestly offices so that I may eat a morsel of bread.’”

–from 1 Samuel 2

So what will you do when you are called? How will you respond to the calling? God created you on purpose for a purpose! God has a plan for you and God’s plan is good! Have you experience God yet? Have you heard Him speak to you? Do you know what to do if you did? Don’t ignore Him! Don’t come up with excuses! Don’t delay till you hear the big booming voice! Go for it! Do not miss it!

Calling of Samuel

1Now the boy Samuel was in the service of Adonai under Eli. In those days the word of Adonai was rare—there were no visions breaking through. 2One day, Eli was lying down in his place—now his eyes had grown dim so that he could not see, 3and the lamp of God had not yet gone out. Samuel was lying down in Adonai’s Temple, where the ark of God was. 4Then Adonai called, “Samuel!” So he answered, “Here I am.” 5Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he replied, “I didn’t call—go back to sleep.” So he went back and lay down. 6Then Adonai called Samuel yet again. So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I didn’t call, my son—go back to sleep.” 7Now Samuel had not experienced Adonai yet, since the word of Adonai had not yet been revealed to him. 8Adonai called Samuel again for the third time. So he got up and went to Eli, and said “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that Adonai was calling the boy. 9So Eli said to Samuel, “Go back to sleep, and if He calls you, say: ‘Speak, Adonai, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back and lay down in his place. 10Then Adonai came and stood and called as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11Then Adonai said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone that hears it will tingle. 12In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity that he knew about, because his sons brought a curse on themselves yet he did not rebuke them. 14Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.” 15Then Samuel lay down until the morning, when he opened the doors of the House of Adonai. But Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” “Here I am,” he replied. 17“What is the word that He has spoken to you?” he said. “Please don’t hide it from me. May God do so to you and even more if you hide anything at all from me that He spoke to you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing. Then Eli said, “He is Adonai. May He do what is good in His eyes.” 19So Samuel grew up and Adonai was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was entrusted as a prophet of Adonai. 21Adonai started to appear once more in Shiloh, for Adonai revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Adonai.

–from 1 Samuel 3

In the old days God’s Spirit would fall on specific people, at specific times, for specific purposes! In the new Testament times, the Spirit is available to be with us as our comforter and our guide! He is available to be with us, never leaving us and never abandoning us! Will you receive the Spirit in your life? Will you live a Spirit filled life? Will you walk in the calling of God and navigate by the Spirit of truth? We all have a choice! We all get to choose! God is always available and always there! Will we choose to walk with Him rather than walk away from Him? Will you do what He asks? Will you walk in His ways? Will you accomplish His call on your life? Will you stick to it and complete the work He has given you to do? Will you point people to Jesus? Will they see Jesus in and through your life? Will you be Jesus with skin on to those God brings into your life?Will you be available to do what God is asking and calling you to do? Will you demonstrate servanthood? Will you demonstrate obedience? Will you demonstrate faith? Will you demonstrate walking in the power of the Spirit? Will you be a living sacrifice that is pleasing to God?

John’s Witness to Israel’s Leaders

1In those days, John the Immerser came proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea, 2“Turn away from your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” 3For he is the one Isaiah the prophet spoke about, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4Now John wore clothing from camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the region around the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his immersion, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance; 9and do not think that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’! For I tell you that from these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10Already the axe is laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire! 11“As for me, I immerse you in water for repentance. But the One coming after me is mightier than I am; I am not worthy to carry His sandals. He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He shall clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but the chaff He shall burn up with inextinguishable fire.”

The Heavens Open at Yeshua’s Mikveh

13Then Yeshua came from the Galilee to John, to be immersed by him in the Jordan. 14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be immersed by You, and You are coming to me?” 15But Yeshua responded, “Let it happen now, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” So John yielded to Him. 16After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. 17And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!”

–from Matthew 3

 

 

How important is purity in your camp?


How about your home? How about your family? How about your friends? How about your company? How about your team? How about your relationships? How about your workplace? How about your neighborhood? How about your church?

Are you living it? Are you being protective of it? Are you aware of what is going on? Have you setup safety rules about it? Have you setup boundaries to enforce it? Will you work to avoid and prevent jealousy? Will work to produce unity?

Is it a priority to you? Is it a priority to those around you? Is it a priority for those above you? Is it a priority for those under you?

How can you tell? Is there evidence? Is there something visible that demonstrates it to be true?

Will you be a blessing to others? Would you pray his on others?

24The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace. 27“So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.

–from Numbers 6


 

Today’s reading that starts with Numbers 5, Numbers 6 kicks off on this topic. Today’s reading then concludes in 1 Corinthians 1.

We need to make the unity of the body a priority! We need to be thankful for what God has done and continues to do in and through our lives! We need to keep our focus on God’s wisdom! We need to be people who live out Jesus to this world! We need to give away the grace that God has provided us! We need to be ambassadors of peace! We need to be living testimonies of who God is!

So s let today be a great day! Help others find the truth!


Today’s reading concludes with…

Greetings

1Paul, called as an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To God’s community in Corinth—having been made holy in Messiah Yeshua, called as kedoshim—with all who everywhere call on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father, and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah!

Thanksgiving

4I always thank my God for you because of God’s grace that was given to you in Messiah Yeshua. 5For in Him you were made rich in every way—in all speaking and all knowledge—6just as the evidence of Messiah was confirmed among you. 7So you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you eagerly wait for the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 8He will also strengthen you until the end—blameless in the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah our Lord.

Concern about Disunity

10Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, through the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by those who are from Chloe’s household, that there are rivalries among you. 12I say this because you are each saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Kefa,” or “I follow Messiah.” 13Has Messiah been divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I immersed none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one should say that I had immersed you into my own name. 16(I also immersed the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don’t recall if I immersed anyone else.) 17For Messiah sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the Good News—not with cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Messiah would not be made of no effect.

Whose Wisdom Is Foolish?

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent.” 20Where is the wise one? Where is the Torah scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For seeing that—in God’s wisdom—the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased—through the foolishness of the message proclaimed—to save those who believe. 22For Jewish people ask for signs and Greek people seek after wisdom, 23but we proclaim Messiah crucified—a stumbling block to Jewish people and foolishness to Gentile people, 24but to those who are called (both Jewish and Greek people), Messiah, the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For you see your calling, brothers and sisters, that not many are wise according to human standards, not many are powerful, and not many are born well. 27Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; 28and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing, so He might bring to nothing the things that are— 29so that no human might boast before God. 30But because of Him you are in Messiah Yeshua, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and holiness and redemption— 31so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in Adonai.”
–from 1 Corinthians 1

 

 

 

Do you need to see it to believe it?


What if those around you won’t believe until they see it? What if they can’t take your word for it but need some real evidence before they believe? What if they can’t trust you because they can’t see it? What if they can’t trust you until they can see evidence of it in and through you? Are you living a life that shows evidence? Are you living a life where you are putting your trust in Him? Is there anything special or different about how you live that would be evidence? Is there anything special in the way you speak, the way you act, the way you engage that is pointing other to your Heavenly Father?

Today’s reading says this…

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

–from Proverbs 3

Let’s take this verse apart and see what we can learn.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

  • It’s not all about you! Just because we have been hurt and feel like the only one we can depend on is ourselves, we need to realize the lie and how that is just a way to try and rob the joy and truth from us! We need to unlearn that lesson so that we can trust in God and live the life He created us and is calling us to live! It’s may not be easy and probably means we need to work at it each and every day!
  • Not sure how? Cry out to God! Use your words and your mind to connect with Him! It’s not about routine or rituals, it’s about a living relationship with Him! So pray without ceasing! Talk to Him throughout the day (verbally or in your head – He can hear you either way)! When we talk to him, He hears us! Trust in God!
  • Run from evil! Resist the temptations! Don’t let the things of the world clutter up your mind and keep you from receiving and living out all that God has for you! In the Bible, you may read about this in terms like desires of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life! Don’t try to live like you know it all! Ever heard the more you know, the more you know you don’t know? You might know a lot, but God knows it all! Are there bad influences in your life that are trying to take you down the wrong path(s)? Replace it by pursuing after God’s Ways! Pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, and a pure heart! Evil may tempt you and it may feel good a little while, but in the long run, it will just bring pain, suffering, bondage, chains (even if only invisible)! Trust in God!
  • I’ve said this in other posts, but getting our priorities straight is key! When I went through the exercise in trying to straighten out my life, what I had to do was put God first! Putting God first and letting Him take care of the rest is Biblical! If we put Him first then we will see needs around us, we will allow our hearts to be sensitive to His prompting to do something for that person on the corner, for that person in the office who looks distraught, for that person you pass on the street who looks to be having a rough day, for someone other than yourself! And those actions and activities will help to build up your hope and trust! Consider what Jesus came and did for us! How will you allow your finances to show you trust Him? Will you give Him a tithe? Yes, really, will you give him 10% and trust Him to bless you with 90%? Do you realize how big this is? Do you realize what He can do if He knows He can trust you to be a good steward? Proverbs 3 says something else around trust in verses 9-10:
    • Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
  • When we live giving Him the first 10%, the best 10%, it shows we really do trust Him!
  • But don’t just be going through the checklist or the motions! We need to be doing it out of love and trust in Him! Consider your heart and your mind against what God’s measuring stick is! Consider yourself not better than you are, but aligned against God’s Word! Let’s not be about excuses, but rather let’s be about seeking truth! We need to be in a constant walk with Jesus, because honestly in our own strength, we couldn’t do it! The 10 commandments aren’t here to help us get God’s approval, they are for us to realize we need a savior! The good news is that Jesus is our savior! He came the sinless lamb of God and gave His life that we could be saved and reconciled to God! We will be able to get into heaven, not because we are all that and a bag of candy, but rather because we are following after Jesus and asking Him to be our source and our guide! Jesus calls us to be above average and to that we need to trust Him even more! The 10 commandments are average and if we don’t try to do better then we will find in society that the average will start going down! If we start to head the wrong, we need to have a way to be held accountable! We need to stand up! We need to stand firm! When we are being tempted or tested, we need to stand firm and put on the full armor of God! We need to resist the devil and he will flee! We need to be comparing ourselves against truth, not a wishy washy truth, but a truth that never changes, and that comes from God’s Word! We need to receive the correction and the discipline of God to help us stay aligned! We need to hide God’s Word in our hearts and mind so that when the trickster, the tempter tries to deceive us we can stand up and stand firm and resist his lies!
  • I like to put it this way… listen to the quiet voice that prompts you to do right! I have had one experience where I heard the loud booming voice and don’t recommend you keep going till you hear it! I recommend when the voice of the Holy Spirit (the still quiet voice) prompts you to do something that you walk in alignment and obedience to God’s Word and the Spirit’s prompting! When you here “psst … do …” (which is in alignment to God’s Word) you should do it! I have gotten better, but not perfect this yet! Be it, “see that person over there, go ask them how are they are doing, go ask them if they are ok, …” Rather than sluffing it off and needing a 2×4 type of memo or a loud booming voice that says “you will be … or you will be nothing!” Do you trust Him? Then do what He asks! Do you trust Him? Then don’t wait for the big loud booming voice and miss out the incredible blessings He is setting up to do in and through you! Do you trust Him? Then live a life that will demonstrate to others that you do! I remember another time when I was to go out and find someone on the street and take them out for dinner! I went and found nobody, and then on my way back to the hotel, I walked passed a man and made it to the stop light where I heard that still quiet voice say “really, you walked right past that man” so I went back and talked to him and he declined saying there were a bunch of people who were more needy than him and then said God bless and let me go! I went to the hotel, dropped off my bags and stuff and then went out again on the search. The man was gone! To this day, I feel he was an angel to make sure I was really going to go through with it! I did find a gentlemen and took him out for a steak dinner! That evening in France, God allowed me to hear this man’s story and to speak hope and life into his life through first feeding his stomach and then filling his heart and mind with love and hope! The Holy Spirit moved that day in a way that just continued to build up my trust in God!
  • Every day will have enough stresses and pressures for us to worry about! We don’t need to be worrying about tomorrow! We need to just rest in God’s love! God cares! If it is big enough for you to care about it, then God cares about it too! So allow Him to lighten the load and give it up to Him! God doesn’t leave us or abandon us! He doesn’t want us to have to fend for ourselves! So cast your cares on Him because He cares for you! God will help us get through them! He will build up our trust! He will strengthen us through each experience! I know when I learned the power of forgiveness, it transformed me! It made it so that rather than looking back at what ifs, I now am looking forward to what’s next! It’s not an easy process, however, God will prove Himself trustworthy!

The rest of the verses speaks some wisdom into the situation!

…do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

It speaks to the benefits and the results and the outcome of walking in alignment with Him! We don’t have all the answers, so we need to go to the one who does! When we acknowledge Him before men and women, He will acknowledge us before the heavenly Father! When we walk in alignment and in trust with Him, we may make some plans, but He will guide our steps!

Today’s Devotion titled “God at Work” (day 1) speaks into this verse in the following way:

Trust the Lord in Everything

On most days, if you spend time with me, at some point you will hear me say, “I trust the Lord in everything.” I’m reminding myself that part of loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength gets down to the very practical matter of trusting Him constantly, continuously, and consciously. Like, every day, all day. I’m practicing the discipline required to not lean on my own understanding and to actively acknowledge the Lord in all my ways.

Now, the opening phrase of Proverbs 3:5 is “Trust in the LORD.” The most important word in that phrase is not trust (even though it’s the verb). The crucial, weighty word in both those phrases is LORD. You see, if I’m trying to have a robust and powerful trust in a tiny, pretty much unable and weak God who needs to be pumped up by my trust, I’ve got nothing. But even if the best I can muster up is a mustard seed of trust and faith in the awesome (the only truly correct use for this adjective) God of the universe, then I’ve got something going on!

Trusting the Lord isn’t hard as long as you are scoped into the Lord you trust. When the concern shifts to trying to measure the power, strength, or endurance of your trust itself, you’re already in trouble. But when your attention is daily turned to Him, seeking to know Him better and better, eager to worship Him and be with others who want to worship Him, trusting becomes part of the response.

I trust the Lord in everything. I know that trust isn’t much on its own some days. But that’s OK—because I’m trusting the LORD in everything. And that’s who really matters!

Prayer: Father, I trust You in everything! Help me in those times when I notice just how weak and insignificant my trust is! I welcome You into every corner of my life, Lord, so that no matter where I am and what I am doing, behind it all I am trusting You in everything. In Jesus’ trustworthy name, Amen.

–from God at Work from James MacDonald

 

 

What type of fruit are you producting? Are they healthy fruit?


How are you living your life? What do people see when they are watching you? Do they see good things being produced? Do they see healthy things when they watch you? What evidence to they see when they watch you? The are watching you! They are testing out what you are producing to see if it good and true! So live lives that testify to the one who created you, leads you, and guides you! So people are being directed and pointed to God, because they are seeing Jesus through you! Live lives that are worthy of Jesus!

Today’s Reading: Colossians 1:9-12

9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

So today I am praying for you in alignment to what was being prayed then! Pray that God’s wisdom will provide you knowledge of God’s will, spiritual wisdom of what is really taking place around you, and be able to walk out your life in a way that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory! I also pray that you complete the good work God is calling you to do so that in and through it all, you will be producing good fruit that the world will see and know that God has sent you! I pray that you will be strengthen and empowered by the Holy Spirit, that with His baptism you will be filled to overflowing so that it will be poured into the lives of those God has brought around you! I pray that you will finish strong! That you won’t grow wearing in doing good, for in the right season you will reap a harvest!

So let’s live our lives as a testimony of who Jesus is and what He has done in our lives! Let’s not grow weary in doing good! Let’s shine hope, love, and joy into our world because they need it!

Do you need hope? Do you need love? Do you need joy? Are you not seeing it around you? Are you not finding it around you? Jesus is the answer! Ping me if you would like to chat. (in the comments, on the Facebook page, on Twitter, up to you…